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ISA launch from P2P firm LendingCrowd

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P2P lending firm LendingCrowd is to launch an ISA during Q1 of 2017, one of the first to be launched in the UK alternative finance sector.

The firm writes that this follows a record year for LendingCrowd in which it became the UK’s second P2P platform and the first P2P lender to SMEs to move from interim to full authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). 

Since launching in 2014, LendingCrowd, Scotland’s only headquartered P2P lender, has facilitated loans totalling over GBP9 million and has over 2000 investors signed up to its platform.  Deals range in size from GBP20,000 to over GBP1 million and in 2015 LendingCrowd helped Diet Chef complete one of the largest ever P2P deals seen in the UK in a GBP1.5 million debt finance transaction.

Highlights of 2016 for the firm were getting its FSA authorisation; partnering with the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB), the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, in an initiative that will see GBP2.75 million invested in Scottish SMEs across the LendingCrowd platform.  It is expected that the move will stimulate loans of up to GBP35 million for SMEs while leveraging significant private sector investment.

October also saw LendingCrowd announce an offer to investors in relation to adding P2P to their investment strategy. By investing GBP5000, investors received a 2.5 per cent joining bonus allocated to their accounts and access to a lending platform that achieved an 8.1 per cent rate of return over the last 12 months.

The firm writes that during the year, the credit assessment team led by Ian Cunningham, a former Head of Corporate and Commercial Risk at RBS, was strengthened, with Michael Allan joining in August as Director of Operations, from IT analytics specialist Sumerian.

Stuart Lunn, (pictured) CEO and co-founder of LendingCrowd, says: “While we are not the biggest P2P platform in the UK, the investment made in our people and technology combined with the FCA approval has positioned LendingCrowd right at the front of the market when it comes to alternative financing of UK SMEs.  We intend to build on this position of strength in 2017, continue to innovate for the benefit of our clients and will be updating the market on plans to launch our ISA during Q1.”

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